Analyst: Apple’s next-gen iPhone 5 to support ‘4G’ for AT&T only, not Verizon

“The next version of the iPhone — [Hudson Square Research analyst Todd Rethemeier] suggests it’s going to be an iPhone 5, rather than recent discussion of an interim model, an ‘iPhone 4S’ — will have 4G wireless only for the AT&T version, not for the one shipped to Verizon,” Tiernan Ray reports for Barron’s.

Rethemeier writes: For AT&T iPhone 5 users, this could mean download speeds of 5-10 Mbps, compared to less than 1 Mbps for a Verizon user. Certainly, when an LTE iPhone is introduced AT&T would lose some of its marketing advantage. However, even when that happens, the phone will be backwards compatible, so the AT&T iPhone 6 would be able to roam onto the HSPA+ network when an LTE network is not available, giving AT&T an advantage in suburban and rural areas for several more years, we believe.

Ray reports, “I should note that Rethemeier observes that what AT&T is marketing at present, HSPA+, is really more like 3.5G, not 4G, but still it offers a speed advantage in the meantime compared to non-LTE Verizon connections.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Judge Bork” and “Lynn W.” for the heads up.]


  1. The problem with any 4G capable iPhone is going to be battery life. Existing 4G devices on any network drain the battery rather quickly. iPhone users are used to being able to charge their phones at night. Whereas the existing 4G device users are lucky to get 6 hours on a charge. Unless apple has some new battery technology up their sleeve I’ll believe this when I see it.

  2. Just a thought..
    Wonder if this (if true) is something AT&T agreed too when they let apple put the Verizon iPhone out before the AT&T 5 year deal was up..

    1. How does one, even now think the 5-year deal wasn’t up? It didn’t begin in 2007, it began in 2006- when the two companies were- you know- actually working together to finalize the product. Case in point, Verizon began testing their iPhone more than a year before it was released this past February, but by your timeline, AT & T just showed up at the last minute when the first iPhone was released in June 2007. Either that or Apple just threw caution to the wind and previewed it in January 2007 without so much as a firm relationship in place. Relationship. Translation- contract.

      1. maybe cause i can read..

        “But it’s nice to finally know for certain that AT&T’s initial iPhone exclusivity period was booked until 2012”

        “USA Today originally reported the contract length in 2007, which would keep the iPhone away from other U.S. carriers until 2012 at the earliest.”

        Odds are the 5 year deal started when the iPhone was released.. (or close to it)
        would you sign a 5 year contract to work for someone that started today, but they don’t want you to start (or get paid) for 3 years?.. your 5 year salary just got cut to 2.

        And ok, AT&T letting Apple put the Verizon iPhone out early, may have been bad choice of wording.
        Apple wanted a Verizon iPhone prior to 2012 (maybe more Verizon than apple)
        AT&T said “we have a 5 year contract”
        Apple said “iPhone 5 will be 4G AT&T exclusive”
        AT&T drooled and said ok..

        Maybe “Apple tricked AT&T into dropping the 5 year contract” would be better wording.

        1. There has never been any proof shown anywhere that it was for certain a f 5 year deal.

          The original rumors had it as a 3 year deal. Then it was reported that the contract was three years with two one year options. There’s no proof out there that this was not the case. Apple/AT&T may not have done the second one year option.

          The firm 5 year deal is just urban legend that virtually everyone subscribes to and keeps getting reported as if it were fact. There has never been any official statement out of AT&T or Apple that the original deal was for 5 years.

          1. I don’t know…. I DO believe i can READ the Apple Lawyers quoted in BOTH those articles.

            OK, i didn’t put THOSE quotes in my post, so i guess you were not able to actually read those articles.

            Maybe you can Click those blue lines above… and READ excerpt’s from the court Docs, and from apple lawyers…

          2. you’re wrong. Steve himself said it in a keynote. He said it was a 5 year deal and he was not going to back out of it early like some companies do. Almost an exact quote.

  3. @Brian,

    HSPA+ isn’t any more battery draining. It’s a lot less than real 4G.

    On a side note…

    I’ve really noticed some major improvements in AT&T. A lot of dead zones have recently been patched. Since getting my iPad 2 with Verizon, I’ve compared data connectivity with it and my AT&T iPhone 4 and have found that my iPhone with AT&T is blowing away my iPad 2 with Verizon on speed, reliability and lack of dead zones. I had an iPad with AT&T previously that was matched with the iPhone 4, so it’s not an iPad versus iPhone thing.

    My girlfriend seems to be noticing that a lot of AT&T dead zones have been patched as well.

    It’s significant enough that I’m considering trading my Verizon iPad 2 for an AT&T iPad 2, even though I wanted Verizon so I could have another carrier in case one versus the other had connectivity in a certain area, but so far, I’m always getting connectivity with AT&T when there is Verizon coverage, but the opposite is not always true.

  4. Apple would be foolish to prioritize LTE development. If it wants to maximize iPhone sales, it’s going to work on the global handset first. That’s GSM + HSPA, not CDMA +LTE. Stupid acronym makers….

  5. Apple needs to rollout a T-Mobile iPhone 4 and stop helping AT&T. AT&T wants price fixing…yeah just like in the 70’s. Apple has a chance to do some real good here and make some serious money.

    just my $0.02

  6. ramiuseng:
    You do know att is buying tmobile right?

    All the telcos want price fixing.
    Tmobile is dying, hemorrhaging customers left and right.
    They are in worse shape than sprint.

  7. Perhaps I’m reading it wrong, but this makes no sense.

    “Certainly, when an LTE iPhone is introduced AT&T would lose some of its marketing advantage.”

    Why? Initially, they’d be the only carrier with a 4G/LTE phone.

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